Giant Hogweed — What a Monster!

‘What a Monster’ is what naive gardeners might say, with gleeful enthusiasm, while reaching for their wallets to pay for this 15 foot tall flowering plant with the 5 foot wide serrated leaves.

However, its victims might say the phrase in rueful anguished voices, as invadingspecies.com says they risk severe dermatitis, and could continue to suffer from ping pong ball sized blisters for the next 10 years, every time their affected skin is exposed to sunlight. It can be a painful experience if skin contacts the poisonous sap of Giant Hogweed, then spends time in sunshine, before it is completely washed off.

No, it is not in our region, yet.

In B.C., only the southwest coast and its local islands are cursed by the presence of this huge satanic herb. So, let us focus on saner Grow-me-instead-choices like Blue Elderberry, Ligularia, Rodgersia, Shieldleaf Rodgersia, and, perhaps, Wild Celery.

Blue Elderberry was mentioned a month ago in my article on English Holly. Nativefoodsnursery.com tells us that Elderberries are used by makers of wine, jam, syrup and pies.

It’s flower clusters can be dipped in batter and fried or added to pancakes and fritters, and its steeped flower petals make a tasty fragrant tea. Blue Elderberry is low maintenance for life and your bird buddies will be happy to harvest any fruit you overlook.

Ligularia aka ‘The Rocket’ finegardening.com maintains it is almost indestructible if planted in a damp shady place, and that in midsummer its daisy-like flowers bloom progressively from the bottom to the top of the stem like a rocket’s tail rising into the sky, provided you don’t let the soil dry out.

Rodgersia, according to finegardening.com “creates tropical drama, with its large, toothed leaves and ivory-green, foot-long flowers,” when planted in moist soil. Shieldleaf Rodgersia is a big leaved umbrella plant variety with round, three-foot diameter, pale green, slightly fuzzy, toothed leaves on three-foot stems that could likely be used as an umbrella.

To grow well, this plant, bearing fluffy white flowers on four- to five-foot stems, needs moist soil, partial shade and protection from the wind. Wild Celery is in a problematic, edible, medicinal, native group of plants that includes Cow Parsnip- which can be toxic to some people.

The Wild Celery family also resembles poisonous native plants, like water hemlock and poison-hemlock, so beware!

Weed Warrior Frank

Just Posted

Interior Health launches GetCheckedOnline program in Kimberley

Kimberley residents now have easier access to anonymous testing for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections

It happened this week in 1912

Dec. 8 - 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Resident calls for ban after dog caught in leg hold trap

Bill Post of Cranbrook is pondering an horrific experience that happened to… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

Most Read